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Cats and Christmas Trees

cats and christmas treesCats and Christmas trees don’t always mix well. It is important if you have a cat in the house that you create a safe environment to keep your cat and your Christmas tree in one piece. Cats are particularly curious, love to climb and play with dangly things and some cats like to eat plants.

Are Christmas Trees Toxic?

Some plants like mistletoe, poinsettias and holly are toxic to pets. Pine fir can be mildly toxic causing stomach and mouth problems. How toxic they are depends on how much is ingested. You may notice excessive drooling and vomiting. Artificial trees may be toxic but the real problem is GI tract issues like puncture or obstruction. Christmas trees don’t digest well.

Other Christmas Tree Hazards For Cats

Besides the tree itself, cats can get deathly sick from the water you use to hydrate your tree. Chemicals in the water used to preserve, fertilize and keep the tree fresh are often poisonous to cats if they are ingested.

Cords and Lights pose another problem. Chewed cords can cause electrical shock. Lights may appear interesting but they can also break causing shock or glass splinters.

Christmas ornaments can be hazardous for the same reasons. You should make sure you secure your tree with wire or make sure it won’t tip over. Glass balls and other ornaments can cause injuries to your cats mouth and GI track as well as other cuts.

How to Enjoy Cats and Christmas Trees

You can acclimate your cat to the tree by putting it up before you add decorations. This lessens the chance they will be intrigued. Begin telling your cat “no” and spaying them with water to get them used to staying away from the tree. Try placing pinecones underneath or spraying citronella on the leaves. This will deter your cat from climbing and eating the tree. Orange peels often work too. You can also decorate the top of the tree more than the bottom. It is also a good idea to supervise your cat until you know how they will react and put your cat out of the room the tree is in while you are away from the house.

Signs Your Cat Needs Medical Help

If you notice changes in your cat’s behavior, you may need to seek medical attention. Excessive licking and salivating can also indicate a problem like toxicity from Christmas Trees or other poisonous plants. You may also notice vomiting, diarrhea, appetite changes, consuming large amounts of water and your cat may not be very active. If you suspect a problem with your cat, your veterinarian in Lexington at Locust Trace Veterinary Clinic can help.